Pinder moves from Hong Kong, where he has been in charge of Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific since 2000. It has been three years since Leo Burnett has had a Europe-based regional president.
"I hope to bring a sense of team and a sense of direction across the region," Pinder said. "I'm not going to tell anyone in any market how to do it better. I've learned in Asia that local guys know their market better than anyone else."
Leo Burnett's European operation had come under the remit of the worldwide chief operating officer, Steve Gatfield, until his departure last September.
Bruce Haines, the group chief executive of the London operation, said: "This is an appointment we have needed to make since Steve Gatfield departed. Burnett has an outstanding network of agencies and people. Richard's appointment gives us a great opportunity to work together for the common good."
Separately, Tom Bernadin, Lowe New York's chief executive, has joined Leo Burnett Worldwide as the president and chief executive of the US operation.
Bernadin is being groomed to replace the current chief executive and chairman, Linda Wolf, who plans to step down in 12 to 18 months.
Also promoted is Paul Eichelman, the European finance director, who becomes the chief financial officer for Leo Burnett worldwide.
Wolf said: "Richard is one of our most talented rising management stars, having dramatically grown an important region."